Being well prepared for your job interview means more than just choosing the right outfit and showing up with time to spare, just in case you get lost or caught in traffic. To go in feeling truly prepared and confident, it’s essential to research the company you’re interviewing with, ahead of time. This not only makes you appear calm, cool and collected – qualities employers look for in every candidate – but it also shows you’ve taken the time to learn about their business and the products or services they offer. Last but not least, it gives you ideas for your own questions to ask during an interview.
To help you stand out during a positive way during your interview, research:
The Company Itself
Start with the company’s website and get a solid overview of the business. Click “About Us” and similar buttons to get a feel for the culture. And scope out the company’s mission statement so you can understand what they care most about – and see if it aligns with your passions and priorities.
Recent Company Developments
Use Google News to find information on recent company news stories, as well as a sense of what they’ve been working on recently. Your goal is to bring up something timely, relevant and helpful or be able to respond knowledgeably if your interviewer brings it up first.
The Company’s Social Media
Delve into the company’s LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter and other social profiles for information beyond what’s included on the website or Google News. Don’t forget to look for video content, which may give you a peek inside the office, so you feel like you’ve already been there when you arrive for your interview.
The Company’s Competitors
Find out who the company’s chief competitors are, and try to find a few similarities and differences. This will help you understand the bigger marketplace picture.
Current Company Employees
Search LinkedIn for starters, to find current company employees. What type of background do they have? You may spot a trend for the type of candidate an employer is looking for. Also, visit sites like Glassdoor.com to read any reviews written by current or former team members. This will give you a better understanding of what it’s really like to work there – or spot a red flag that may make you think twice about the position.
The Hiring Manager
You can also use LinkedIn to learn more about the company’s hiring manager. How long have they been with the company? What are their interests and background? You may even spot something you have in common with them, as a further means of building rapport.